As for this summer, there’s been a trend for hotter summers in the last several years, and that’s likely to continue.So, there you go.
“That’s not good for drought conditions, because that means more evaporation and more water demand,” Nielsen-Gammon said.
The recent wet fall has been followed by a fairly dry December and an especially dry January, he noted.
“The thing about the dry winter is that we’ve had some fall moisture issues already,” he said. “Depending upon how much rain we get in the spring, that basically determines how rapidly things dry out in the summertime. Even with a normal rainfall, summer is a time in just about all areas of the state when we’re water stressed because evapotranspiration is so high. So we’re going to hit the summertime dry conditions earlier than normal, unless we make up this winter moisture deficit in the next couple of months.”
And making up that winter deficit in February and March seems unlikely at this time, he said.
“We still don’t have a good jet-stream pattern to bring us plentiful moisture, and there’s no sign of it developing."
Nielsen-Gammon said that there is a chance of an El Niño this year, but, if it happens, it will be too late to alleviate any summer drought.